I’m not a huge baseball fan. I rarely watch a game. But even I’m able to see the significance in the Chicago Cubs trip to the World Series this year. As you’ve probably heard, if they win, they’ll break a 108 year championship drought, the longest in any major professional sport. The last time the Cubs were even in the World Series was within a month of the end of World War II, so this is kind of a big deal.
Cubs’ fans, who for so many years have faithfully suffered with their team, are now absolutely elated and profoundly hopeful that this is their time. The pain of years and years of failed seasons is gone now, and in so far as they are remembered, they add sweetness to this moment and not bitterness.
I live in the Midwest, so I’m surrounded by Cubs fans, and while I’ve seen plenty of blue, red and white I can also pick out a fan just by their sheer joy! Cubs’ fans know a joy that is reserved for the long suffering. This is a happiness that can only be rooted in loyalty and sacrifice. It’s a joy that only a few experience, because it’s a joy born in perseverance. And if you think this is overly dramatic, chances are you’re not a Cubs fan.
In many ways marriage can and should be seen through this light. Every marriage has years of great joy, and years of trial. Every marriage suffers, and just like the experience of Cubs fans, that suffering may seem eternal. And yet any seasoned couple can tell you that the key to these experiences is perseverance. They’ll tell you that the most important thing to do in a storm is to maintain your course, and not jump ship. I know so many couples that have experienced profound challenges in their marriages, and now they radiate the sublime joy found in those who have faced trials and triumphed. In our culture which is so quick to abandon what doesn’t immediately gratify, this message is more important than ever!
I’ve only been married for six years, but I can already say that it has been through Kara and my trials that we’ve grown closer together. Our trials haven’t been extraordinary, but they have been painful, and at times both of us have thought is this worth it? We could have drifted apart in those moments, but instead we doubled down, using our trials as a way to draw even closer to each other, and even more in love. And of all the blessings in my marriage, the love that has grown through trials must be one of the greatest.
Fidelity brings joy like nothing else can. And to accomplish anything great we need to be willing to go through periods of trial. If you don’t believe me,, ask a Cubs fan!
Photo credit: Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP